Beyond Debussy & Ravel: Discovering the Piano Music of Déodat de Séverac

Due to a long association with C. Leonard Coduti, a musicologist who specializes in French music, I became intrigued with his knowledge of French keyboard music "beyond Debussy and Ravel." I began exploring his many recommendations and have found myself fully entranced, fascinated, and amazed at the prolific output of so many wonderful French ...
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The Hidden Life of the Humble Arabesque

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In a letter of July 1910 to Jacques Durand, Claude Debussy announced that, as an artist, he was "accustomed to living among apparitions." Exactly what form those apparitions took is anybody's guess, but some may well have appeared in the form of arabesques, and not always friendly ones at that. Despite the fact that arabesques are so innocuous ...
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Decatastrophizing the Memory Lapse

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The practice of memorizing music is relatively new. In the 1988 film by John Schlesinger, Madame Sousatzka,1 there is a haunting scene that still fills many a pianist with an uncomfortable sense of apprehension. The young madame is performing Beethoven's Appassionata to a packed concert hall, when suddenly the unthinkable happens. A small hesitatio...
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Pupil Saver: Caribbean Blue

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I teach in a piano camp every summer—it is the highlight of my summer and I so look forward to working with students in this setting. I have just listened to the audition of my prospective student for the camp: a boy in middle school who is playing at the intermediate level. The purpose of the audition is to assess his level of playing and sight re...
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The Composer's Score from Conception to Publication: The Evolution of Ginastera's Piano Sonata No. 2

Pianists, when learning repertoire, are not always aware of the challenges faced in producing a published edition. Some composers seem to frequently change their minds, making it difficult for scholars to agree upon a definitive score. Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 53, by Alberto Ginastera is an interesting case study. I first encountered this work when ...
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Winter 2020: Pupil Saver

First steps into RagtimeIf you're looking for a lively early-intermediate piece in ragtime style, you can find it in the music of Florence B. Price, one of America's preeminent African American composers. Ticklin' Toes checks all of the ragtime boxes, yet in a way that is accessible for students who are not advanced enough to tackle the music ...
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Appreciating our Inheritance of Piano Technique Literature

Pianist and pedagogue Joseph Hofmann states: "To transmit one's matured conception to one's auditors requires a considerable degree of mechanical skill, and this skill, in its turn, must be under absolute control of the will."1 After all, how can a pianist be expressive in his or her playing without the necessary preparation? Today we witness piano...
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Diversifying Concert Programming: Introducing Works for Solo Piano by Asian Female Composers

As a performing musician, I am always looking for ways to expand my concert repertoire, not only to promote diversity in music programming but also to spark interest in both students and audiences by introducing fresh voices into traditional classical repertoire. In my search for solo piano works, I came across three Asian female composers who have...
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Undiscovered Gems of Canadian Pedagogical Piano Literature: The Works of Violet Archer, Jean Coulthard, and Barbara Pentland

​Canadian composers Violet Archer, Jeanne Coulthard, and Barbara Pentland were three amazing women composers representing different parts of Canada: Archer from Quebec, Coulthard from British Columbia, and Pentland from Manitoba. Even though they came from and represent the broad, expansive country of Canada, they did have some commonalities: all t...
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Brazilian Dance Music For Intermediate and Early Advanced Students

Francisca (Chiquinha) Gonzaga is one of the most important Brazilian composers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Born in 1847 in Rio de Janeiro, her personal life was considered scandalous for her time. Her father never forgave her for leaving her husband, and she was disowned by her family. She was the first professional woman composer ...
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Elementary and Early-Intermediate Piano Music by Women

Every piece students play creates an opportunity to make an emotional impression on themselves and others. Experiencing a variety of well-chosen literature helps students to further their studies more artistically and joyfully. Teachers often wisely select literature based on students' technical and musical needs. By also considering a possible per...
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The A-B-C’s of Nocturne Repertoire: Alexander Before Chopin

Piano students transitioning from method books to standard intermediate repertoire often yearn to study the beautiful and deservedly popular Chopin Nocturnes. However, these require oft-underestimated musical sensitivity and technical command. Jane Magrath recognizes this in The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performing Literature, statin...
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Kabalevsky: Running Along, Op. 39, No. 6

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this oneKabalevsky, A Little Porcupine, op. 89, No. 8Köhler, Melody, op. 190, no. 27Diabelli, Scherzo in C, Op. 149, No. 6Get Ready: Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for deeper ...
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Recent Comments
Susan Baugh
This was great! Thanks for all your ideas!
Thursday, 22 August 2019 20:42
Janet Kelly
Absolutely wonderful! I meant to give you 5 stars but somehow it only filled up 4.5 stars when I clicked on the last star! So many... Read More
Sunday, 20 October 2019 01:54
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“Hidden Figures” in Piano Pedagogy: Leveling Piano Music by Black Composers

A Call for Representation In 2016, the movie, Hidden Figures, based on the novel by Margot Lee Shetterly, put a spotlight on African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s. This biographical film exposed the significant contributions that Black females made to NASA dur...
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Narrativity of Histoires by Jacques Ibert

​Jacques François Antoine Marie Ibert was born with the fire of Spanish blood in his veins and claimed Manuel de Falla, the famed Spanish composer, as his cousin. The love of music and art that permeated the Ibert household laid the foundation for his acceptance into the Paris Conservatory in 1910, where he studied harmony under the tutelage of Emi...
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Summer 2019: Pupil Saver - Dramatic Chords and Incomparable Views

Rebecca is in her senior year of high school. She is a lovely person who is a talented artist and is also a good pianist. Rebecca leans probably more toward art than music, thus her playing level has stayed around late intermediate to early advanced. Finding music for her that sounds difficult and appealing is often a challenge.At her most recent l...
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Burgmüller: Ballade, Op.100, No.15

Burgmüller: Ballade, Op.100, No.15
Preparation and PresentationContext: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one​Burgmüller - ArabesqueRossi - Atacama DesertAtwood - SonatinaKabalevsky – ClownsGet Ready: Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with the score, to prepare a student for deeper engagement and more immediate...
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Schumann: A Little Piece, Op.68, No.5

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this oneBerens: Op. 70, No. 8 & No. 23Christopher Norton: Duet for One (from The Microjazz Collection 1) Czerny: Op. 777, No. 3Konrad Kuhner: School of Etudes, No. 1(right before or after) Schumann: Op. 68, No. 3 Get Ready: creative ac...
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Clementi: Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1, I. Allegro

Clementi: Sonatina in C, Op. 36, No. 1, I. Allegro
Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this one​Lynn Freeman Olson – Beginning SonatinasNancy Faber - Classic Sonatina in C MajorDennis Alexander - Simply SonatinasTheodore Latour - Sonatina No. 1 in C MajorThomas Attwood - Sonatina in G MajorGet Ready: Creative activ...
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Chee-Hwa Tan
I loved how you articulate the tricky technical segments and accompany them with simple technical warm-ups in preparation. Very cl... Read More
Friday, 03 May 2019 17:19
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Pachulski: Prelude Op.8, No.1

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Preparation and Presentation Context: Pieces that are helpful to have experienced or played before approaching this oneNakada, The Song of TwilightTchaikovsky, Old French Song, op. 39, no. 16Grechaninov, Waltz, from Glass Beads, op. 123Tchaikovsky,Sweet Dreams, op. 39, no. 21Get Ready: Creative activities to explore before the first encounter with ...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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